Monday, March 19, 2007


That’s the number of dollars committed to the Luke 4 Challenge as of 5pm Saturday afternoon. When Bobby finished the video on Saturday morning, there were still commitment cards coming in, so the video didn’t reflect the latest numbers.

I think if you would have told me ten years ago that we were going to give nearly 13 million dollars to build a place called The Healing Center for our city, drill wells in Nigeria, and create an awesome environment for the next generation, I would have thought, “What are you smoking?”

I have such a mix of emotions right now. I am so impressed by the sacrifices people made toward something that was really outside of themselves, that is, not about their personal need. I’m amazed that people caught a glimpse of a vision and responded. Yesterday I just wanted to pogo during the worship, but I am getting older (and then I think: So?). I also talked with Anita about those who sat on the fringes and really didn’t take part…I wondered how they experienced the celebration. It made me a bit sad. And last, I have to admit there’s a measure of emotional relief…not so much that we made the goal, but that I’m not crazy after all.

But mostly I simply feel awed by God. During the series, I must have read 2 Chronicles 5 a dozen times at home (and chapter 6 isn’t half-bad either—Solomon’s prayer will reorient your neurons…and then what follows in 7:1-3 is mind-boggling…). But I love it when they dedicate the temple—they are so thrilled to have a permanent place for the ark of the covenant (representing the presence of God in their midst)—with all the singers and 120 priests blowing trumpets (you think our worship band is loud?), and then the glory of God fills the temple and the priests can’t even stand up. Now that’s a Pentecostal church-experience.

I really sensed the glory of God filling VCC during each of the celebrations. I don’t know how many people came up to talk to me who were just shaking…no, vibrating…and ready to burst into tears at what they were experiencing.

One of the best was a man whom I had never met before grabbed me in the atrium and said, “I’m seventy years old and I’ve never experienced what you talked about with the Holy Spirit…until today” and then he and his wife burst into tears. He said, “Can you imagine being seventy and never experiencing God like that until now?” I said, “Hey, better late than never!” and I really meant it.

I think this was one for the history books.

…and with them one hundred and twenty priests blowing trumpets in unison when the trumpeters and the singers were to make themselves heard with one voice to praise and to glorify the Lord, and when they lifted up their voice accompanied by trumpets and cymbals and instruments of music, and when they praised the Lord saying, “He indeed is good for His lovingkindness is everlasting,” then the house, the house of the Lord, was filled with a cloud, so that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of God. (2 Chronicles 5:12-14 New American Standard Bible)


  1. Dave - you took us on brief history of the last few years. It was so appropriate. Thanks for sharing and revealing what God has been doing in your life behind the scenes!

    Having attended VCC since 1997, it is hard to describe how I feel about the journey that God has us on. There have been so many "big" moments just since 1997: giving away money for the land that VCC now occupies, then giving away the church itself on Crescentville. Who could forget how we raised over $850,000 in just six weeks time? Who could forget the Good Friday service where we gave New Life our "old" church building or the following Easter Sunday when the members of New Life worshiped with us? What about the big outreaches over the years? Or raising $800,000 as part of "Unlocking our Future" in order to give $20,000 away each month for a whole year? Giving and serving are at the heart of God's love for us as His church.

    The way I see it, the Luke 4 Challenge is just the next step in a journey that springs from VCC's well established history of giving to something that is way bigger than VCC...something that is way bigger than ourselves. Jesus said in Luke 12, "Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Proivde purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there you heart will be also." I confess: when I think about what the Lord might have for VCC to do next, what He might ask of me, of us as His body, I feel like a small boy the night before Christmas - giddy and barely able to sleep!

  2. God is so good. The feeling I had in the celebration yesterday was nothing I have ever felt before in my life. The Holy Spirit moving in that building was overwhelming. I sobbed!!!! To experience this with so many of my brothers and sisters just in this one tiny area of the world gives me complete hope that we CAN and WILL change the world. With God's people scattered through out the world, He is on the move and we are part of it!!! What a blessing!

  3. Think about the improbability of this.
    What Are the Odds?
    Goal $   = 12,600,000
    Pledges = 12,691,608.. that's 100.73%
    Sources = 5,000 different ideas of their part in this adventure.
    Anybody got a calculator?
    My mind is officially boggled. We are privileged to be part of something amazing here. Now it's showtime. Let's git-r-done!

  4. May the God of Abraham, Issac, Jacob and David bless those who committed to the Luke 4 Challenge so that they can easily exceed what they promised and their regular tenth also increases so we may finish what we have purposed to do for His glory and pay off the existing debt quickly in order to be available for further opportunities to be used of God!

  5. i'm still buzzing from this weekend. i can't stop thinking about it. i've never experienced anything like it. thank you thank you thank you.

  6. I really felt the presence of the Holy spirit at Sunday's celebration.I'm looking forward to seeing the development of this project as well as the stepping up from the people of the vineyard to not only to get things built but to have all three operations operate like a well oiled machine.

  7. Dave, this is truly awesome stuff, oh how I wish I could be there but there's the small matter of a few thousand miles that makes it pretty difficult, so instead I keep track of what's happening via the videos and I just watch with wonder at waht God is able to do through a community of people that are willing to give themselves over to waht God wants to do in and through them. Honestly as someone trying to make a difference and change the world here in the UK it's so inspiring to see what's going on at VCC. Keep being a ready pen in the hand of the heavenly author....thank you Lord for VCC and the willing community that it is.